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   Quilters with Questions or Tips -> Fabric, Notions and Sewing Hardware/SoftwareMessage format
Posted 2011-09-18 12:25 AM (#63254)
Subject: Batting???


Posts: 9

Hey all!

Hope you're having a lovely weekend. I'm supposed to be working. Apparently, I'm not.

Quick question - I'm a little overwhelmed by the selection of batting out there. Any tips on how to choose what for which project? Favorite brands? Tricks and suggestions?

Too much info on the 'net just gives me a headache!

Thanks and happy needling!

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Posted 2011-09-18 8:23 AM (#63257 - in reply to #63254)
Subject: RE: Batting???


Posts: 7591
Location: Far Northern California

Hmm, I'm not sure how to choose different ones for different projects, as I tend to use the same brands, regardless of what I am making.

Of course, if you are making something like a hot pad, you probably want to use some insoluated stuff. But for wall hangings, mug rugs, all sizes of quilts I prefer to use cotton batting.

I came across the brand Dream a few weeks ago. Am making my second baby quilt with it, and I just LOVE IT!! It's soft, warm, and the needle glides right on thru it.

I also like to use warm and natural.

I've used bamboo once, that was nice to sew thru. And I would like to try some wool, as my boys tend to get cold so easily.

I am not a polyester person, I just prefer cottons. I like to have low loft but warm at the same time. 

Hope I've helped a bit.

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Posted 2011-09-18 11:33 AM (#63262 - in reply to #63254)
Subject: RE: Batting???


Posts: 179
Location: Independence, Tx

Hi Anna,

 I normally use Quilter's Dream  It is what my LQS carries.  I like the select and request lofts (the lower lofts).  

I use the Polyester when I am making a quilt that will be washed alot.. ie baby/child quilts. When I can get my hands on it I use Dream Angel for kid's quilts because it is flame retardant, it is hard for me to find in person and I have to order it online.  

Other than that I generally use the cotton/poly blend.   I tend to stay away from 100% cotton just because I do; it also tends to be a little more pricey.  

I also am known to pop into a local craft shop when batting is on sale or with a coupon and pick up some of Fairfield's Bamboo blend, it is soo soft.  


A few other notes:  I have never used Wool. I prewash fabric and always in cold.  When I wash quilts I wash in cold on handwash setting and machine dry with the quilts that can handle it.

 Hope this helps!

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Posted 2011-09-18 11:38 AM (#63263 - in reply to #63254)
Subject: RE: Batting???


Posts: 3574
Location: Portland Oregon
Anna - this is one of those "quilting can of worms"... everyone has their favorites and opinion, but here are mine.

Like Dorian, I believe it depends on the project. It also depends on if you are hand quilting or not. Many of the scrimmed / needlepunch battings are difficult to hand quilt through. If you hand quilt, you might purchase a 6" strip of battings off the bolt and give them a try. It's difficult if you order on line, because it is hard to see what you are getting.

I'm generally a machine quilter....

for baby quilts, I do like more loft, and less quilting overall, so the quilt remains "fluffy"... for this, I usually use a batting that is called "Soft and Bright" made by the warm and natural company, it is polyester, but a much lower loft than the old 8 oz or 16 oz size. it is much more flexible when new. (( I have also used this in lap quilts and throws if I want them to stay fluffier than warm and natural does). It is also a lighter feel weight wise than W&N. There is just enough loft with this batting, that it does show quilting details nicely. It does not shrink once it's quilted, so if you want a crinkled look with it, many quilters use fabric that is not preshrunk, then the fabric shrinks a bit, to give the look they want.

There is also a product out there that is flame resistant for baby quilts, I have never personally used it.

For lap quilts, sofa throws, and bed quilts in general, I've used "warm and natural" and "warm and white", these are the same content... 100% cotton. very low loft, and once you've quilted, and then wash and machine dry, it shrinks enough to give your quilts a crinkled, old look. It does tend to remain 'flat' looking, so if you are trying to show off some fancy quilting such as feathers, etc., it may not give you the look you want.

If you want the best of both worlds, "Hobbs heirloom" is an 80% cotton, 20% poly blend. It still shrinks after quilting and will give the crinkled look, but it does give a bit more loft to show off quilting details.

All three of these are available on the roll at JOAnn's... and I buy them when they have batting by the yard, or use my 40% off coupon... I usually buy a whole roll.

Personally, I try not to buy packaged batting, it needs to relax before all the folds go out, and even a trip through the dryer doesn't always help. (I also find many packaged poly battings to be the product that isn't very even in thickness).

Poly batting. (NOT A FAVORITE OF MINE, but there are times when it's the appropriate type to use) this is the type of batting that is often wrapped around foam in furniture. This feels like it is coated with something to "hold it together", (this is available at one of my local stores in 4 oz, 8 oz and 16 oz sizes. (the 4 oz is thin, the 16 oz is nearly 3/4" thick.) No Shrinkage, but the resin type coating will go away after repeated washings, and if not quilted close enough, the batting will shift to corners. I have had quilts come back to me for repair that have the corners filled with the loose "grit" from the batting. In my opinion, this batting feels "sharp" to the touch, and it can add wear on the fabric from the back side if not quilted close.

It takes a lot of washings for that 16 oz to soften up and feel "comfy". (I speak from experience here)... LOL If making quilted bags, totes, or baby accessories such as bumper pads, the stiffness and depth of the 16 oz might be useful. In general, quilting on 16 oz is difficult, even with a walking foot. I have tied comforters with it in the past, but the result was pretty stiff looking.

8 oz poly is approx 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. I find that you really want to use this for tied comforters, or charity projects.... but I don't like to quilt with it. If you do... pin it like crazy and USE A WALKING FOOT (or your hopping type foot), the fabric wants to move on it. (flannel doesn't move as bad as a trad. cotton).

4 oz poly is about 1/4 inch thick. This is usually what you would find in a folded, packaged batting. it is thin, lightweight, and still has loft. it is not scrimmed, or needlepunched. Again, you will have best results if you use a walking foot for straight work, or a hopping type foot for meander quilting.

I haven't tried wool, or bamboo... but folks I know who hand quilt love both of them.

Good luck with your search, and let us know what you decide on. Welcome to the forum, by the way!

Edited by scraphappydenise 2011-09-18 11:58 AM
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Posted 2011-09-18 12:02 PM (#63264 - in reply to #63254)
Subject: Re: Batting???


Posts: 9

Thanks everyone!!! Very helpful.

I'm going to be machine quilting for the most part - the plan is to start with some simple baby quilts, both for friends and to donate to Project Linus, and then work my way up to the more complicated projects.

So far, so good!

:) Anna
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